MIDNIGHT IN YOUR ARMS
Mass Market Paperback/eBook
E-galley loaned by publisher through NetGalley.com. No remuneration exchanged and all opinions herein are my own except as noted.
For fans of Downton Abbey and readers of Jude Deveraux and Teresa Medeiros comes a brand-new tale of a love that dares to defy time itself . . .
When psychic Laura Dearborn inherits Stonecross Hall in 1926, she has no idea she's inheriting a love story too—one that she's lived again and again. But as Alaric Storm III, the handsome owner of the mansion from sixty years earlier, starts to haunt her waking dreams, Laura discovers her heart's true home has always been within Stonecross's walls.
Tormented by memories of war, Alaric Storm III is used to spirits—just not ones from the future. Set on fire by Laura's ghostly affections, Alaric is forced to choose: follow his heart and grasp Laura's hand through time, or surrender to the call of duty and live without love.
As All Hallows' Eve draws near, Alaric and Laura must find a way to hold on to each other forever—or risk repeating their tragic romance until the end of time. Simon and Schuster
Sometimes, in a "drawing room drama" a home takes on a significance as a locus for paranormal or psychic activity. This is a very human story with lots of heart; a feeling like if you could only find that one person who could understand you and bring you back to life after some shock like being on the field in war. The marketing is comparing it to the feeling of the Masterpiece Theater's DOWNTON ABBEY. There are some parallels.
Somewhat similar to Matthew Crawley, the young man in DOWNTON ABBEY, who learns, completely unexpectedly, that he is to inherit this vast estate in, Laura, whose life after nursing soldiers in World War I is listless and depressing, learns she is to inherit a large country estate. She has no connection to the person leaving the house to her, but she has dreamed of it her entire life. Still it's a shock. Alaric has been going thorugh the motions of life since the Crimean War, one of those motions has been bending his arm to bring tumbler of whiskey to his mouth..
Also similar to the television program the novel has a theme of the crashing of the modern with ancient tradition, the old and the new. World War I brought a rapid change in class structure, dress and manners. It was no less a shock to society than finding a flapper in Victorian England would be.
One thing that allows the story to work, given its time travel complexities, is that the writer doesn't even try to explain it with some kind of science. On anciently mystical moors of Devon science has no place, this miracle is wrought entirely by magic and the understanding of a young seer, Tess.
Like DOWNTON ABBEY, the feeling of the place and time is right there:
The feeling of the house, the crunchy, rotting drapes, which become then, in the past beautiful silks, is palpable.
The feeling of the crush of a house party.
The feelings of a woman spurned, brought a feeling of heat to my face as if I were the chit she finds with the man she intends to marry.
That sensation is all there and that, along with the love-conquers-all-thing-ishness, gives the story heart. The heart gets you past the slightly rapid falling in love of two people who are merely shades to each other and who know each other not at all.
The story is hard to put down, I enjoyed it a lot. It's just a little bit like The Time Traveler's Wife but with a much better outcome. Great debut novel. I look forward to her next book.
Recommended Love-through-time romance.
Midnight in Your Arms at Barnes and Noble